I’m a summer child. My birthday is just one week before the solstice, and the summer is when I come fully alive. I love the heat. I love long, languid days and soft, humid nights. I love sunshine, and light, and bright colors. Someone once likened me to a butterfly; saying that I break out of a cocoon and become someone else as the sun takes hold. I’m naturally light and airy. The air signs dominate my astrological chart, and my Ayurvedic sign is Vata. Because of these things, the heat of summer is the perfect balance for me. But the constant INERTIA of the warmer, more active seasons can also be a huge drain on my energy.
Grounding is easy in the fall and winter months, when the seasons virtually call us to do that very thing. We stay inside, we take long baths or cozy up and read by a fire. We snuggle up in our little burrows and draw inward. In contrast, summer invites us to sprawl. We go-go-go until we run out of juice, and then rest a bit and do it all over again. But that can lead to feeling overwhelmed, underprepared, exhausted, or even just scatterbrained.
Here are my five simple tips that can help you feel instantly more grounded, even through the buzz of the summer season:
1. Finish something. If you’re anything like me, you have on-going to-do lists full of things that never get quite done. The quickest way to feel instantly more in control is to trim some of that sprawl. Finish something and scratch it off your list completely. Don’t let it take up anymore mental space! That’s one thought tentacle you no longer have to keep track of.
2. Take an afternoon nap. This is perfect on a hot day when you are feeling unproductive anyway. Instead of scrolling through your phone or mindlessly watching TV, take a cool shower, go into a dark room, and take a nap. Set your alarm for 90 minutes. Wake up refreshed and recharged and ready to take on the next adventure! You can nap at the same time your kids do, or even squeeze this in on a weeknight after work. Extra rest can do nothing but help when you’re burning the candle at both ends.
3. Meditate. This one is sort of obvious. If you have a meditation practice, consider expanding it as life gets busier, rather than compressing it. The busier you are, the more time you need in stillness. If you don’t currently meditate, I highly recommend the breathe ap. It’s free and has some great beginner meditations. Try to find 5-10 minutes daily and make it a routine, but again, this is a great one to stop-drop-and-do when you find yourself getting anxious or feeling overwhelmed. If you don’t like regular meditation, try journaling or coloring.
4. Get out in nature. There’s no better way to ground than to “earth.” Earthing is literally connecting with the earth. Take off your shoes and walk barefoot through the grass. Better yet, lay down and take a nap in it. Watch the clouds drift by and listen to the wind dancing with the trees. Or do some gardening – talk to your flowers with your knees on the earth and your fingers in the dirt. The most important thing is that you are spending the time actually communing with nature. Making nature a backdrop as you do some other activity or interact with others doesn’t count. Don’t multi-task. Take the time to just BE alive. There is no surer way back to center.
5. Always schedule down time. Whether it is not making plans on weeknights, or blocking out a half day every weekend, or an entire weekend a month, make sure to leave empty space in your calendar. Respect this and make it sacred. If it’s too late and you’re already overbooked, look for a place to clear some time. You don’t want to strangle all the lightness out of this fleeting season by scheduling it to death. Rather than the busy worker bee buzzing from flower to flower on a mission – give yourself permission to become a butterfly and flit wherever the winds of fancy take you.